Rep.-elect Gabbard seeking Inouye’s seat

Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on Tuesday announced that she would seek appointment to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).

“In the military, I learned that 'leadership' means raising your hand and volunteering for the tough, important assignments,” said Gabbard in a statement. 

“Senator Inouye did that as a young man, and he inspired a generation of young soldiers like me. Now it is our responsibility to step up, for the good of Hawai`i. In that spirit, I place my name into consideration for the seat he filled so ably,” she continued.

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Gabbard joins a number of other Democrats hoping to be tapped for the Senate seat vacated when Inouye died last week at the age of 88.

Inouye was laid to rest Sunday during a service in Hawaii attended by President Obama and lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

Reports said that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) would announce Inouye’s replacement on Wednesday. Applicants will deliver an address before leaders of the state Democratic party on Wednesday, after which the chairman will provide Abercrombie with a list of the top three choices to select from.


Abercrombie has not indicated whom he intends to name to the seat, but before his death Inouye recommended that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) be his successor.

Other possible appointees include former Hawaii Rep. Ed Case (D) and state Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz (D), who lost a 2006 bid for Congress.  

Gabbard, a former combat veteran, was elected in November to serve in Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.